Shared June 13, 2019
As consumer diets continue to shift toward healthier food, plant-based alternatives are becoming more and more popular. Fast-food chains like Burger King, White Castle, and Carl's Jr. are rolling out fake meat options. But will Mcdonald's - the world's most famous fast-food restaurant - jump on board?
In the 12 months ending in March 2019, restaurant operators increased purchases of plant based protein 36 percent. That's in an environment where foot traffic in restaurants has remained relatively flat since 2014.
Traditional veggie burgers started popping up on grocery store shelves in the 1980s. Restaurants added them to their menus as an easy option for vegetarian diners. But veggie burgers have also gotten a bad rap. Made with black beans, lentils or tofu, they don't really taste like a real burger. In fact, they're usually pretty tasteless.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are trying to change that. Their plant-based burgers mimic actual beef’s taste, texture and look. The Beyond Burger uses pea proteins and beet juice to achieve taste and texture.
The Impossible Burger has found its own secret ingredient: heme. The iron-containing molecule is found in our blood as well as beef. It’s what gives meat a pink color and a metallic taste. To make a vegan friendly burger that contains the molecule, Impossible Foods uses genetically modified soy. And as an added bonus, the heme makes an Impossible Burger look like it’s bleeding juices -- just like a meat patty.
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